Old Ideas At the start of our project we were very decided straight away on what idea and concept to come up with. Our first idea was going to be in the thriller genre, about a celebrity girl being stalked by a mad fan or photographer, but we soon realized why this idea wouldn’t work. For a start we wanted a red carpet, and it was very unlikely we could find a place that looked like a red carpet on the Isle of Wight. We also wanted to show some glamorous scenes, where the girl would be in a fancy club but because of our ages at the time, only seventeen this would have been impossible to try and do. Overall the first idea wouldn’t have been successful because we didn’t have the location and props needed to create the glamorous feel for the film. This is why when looking at deconstructing film posters, one of them was in the thriller genre because we thought this be our genre of film.
Our second idea we thought would be more easier to create. It was the horror genre, and we decided that we would come up with this idea of a tribe in the forest, who involved in weird rituals would try and kill a group of friends who went on a hike. After thinking this through we both thought that this wasn’t a typical slasher film, by challenging the stereotypical masked killers, to a bunch of more mysterious individuals. Although we believed this was a great concept again, it was hard to film in a forest for where it would take place, because of the constant conflict between light and darkness, and the weather also made it hard, because it rained a lot. So therefore we eventually had to forget this idea also.
Our third idea then was a bit more simplistic, by still sticking to the horror idea we decided to have this idea of a group of girl friends playing an Ouija board in a school, with deadly consequences. We used locations around the school to make it look like we were filming in a forest. It was then after realizing this idea, there was no real plot and after filming this using a camera it was made apparent that the way I filmed wasn’t very good at all, as when looking back over our filming we both noticed it was too shaky all the way through, as well as unnecessary zooming that made it look unprofessional, messy and confusing, so not satisfied with our results we decided to come up with a new idea, and film again.
Audience Feedback on name of film title We asked an audience of teenagers in our class their opinion on three titles. Soul Cry, Hunting Heat and Blood Circle. From their responses we found out that Soul Cry appeared to suggest the sci-fi genre and a moving drama. Although they said the age certificate could suggest an eighteen, it wasn’t enough to make us choose that as our main title. Whilst their response to hunting heat was a thriller, and a 15, it didn’t have the intended effect As when asked about the title Blood Circle, their instant responses were that it was in the horror genre, and would be an eighteen and be quite gory. So therefore from gleaning audience feedback on the names we decided to make this the official name for our film. And Blood Circle fitted in with our film about a group of friends, it gave the impression that something would go around, and the circle gave insight that it was too do with a group who are caught in the middle of some horror with the word blood suggesting they get harmed in some way or suggesting death.
Our fourth and final idea was more interesting then all the three before. It revolved around a group of friends playing an Ouija board around a friends house, and unleashing a demonic child from the spirit world into the real world. This was easier to understand, and easier location wise to film. Locations involved a house and places such as rooms inside the house, as well as parts of area outside such as behind brick walls. Although many films had been made about an Ouija board we felt that adding the demonic child made an unusual element when combined with the Ouija board, with normally little children appearing eerie and dark in connection to haunting a house, when in fact in our idea the child came out of the Ouija board, and the presence of evil seemed more realistic because her being possibly connected to the devil was more chilling.
We also thought of the conventions of films having children associated mostly with horror films such as the 6th sense and The Omen with the children being the protagonist mainly.
Film Conventions We both decided that extra research would be needed in order to make our project as professional as possible. For a starter we made a report on the connotation of different accents, so that for our film we could see what effects the different accents could have. We used a common London accent in our film, knowing that a “posh” London accent wouldn’t be as effective for our horror. As the London accent suggested grit, and although our film wasn’t rough and one that dealt with crime, the accent worked well with our main protagonist who did the voice over for the film trailer making it more believable . We also found many aspects about British films and wrote about this in what is a film four film. But what we decided to go with when considering our film trailer, was the casting of different ethnicity. So therefore instead of making our trailer based on girls of one ethnicity, we had another to show that it could follow the example of films like “bend it like beckham”.
Conventions The aspects highlighted in bold are included in our own film. British films commonly include… Regional Dialect
Pub Punch Up
Drunkenness (deviant behaviour)
Bookmarking is a British film technique, it involves starting and ending a film in the same place.
Film Conventions Villain
I decided to look into Propp’s theory by reading the official book. It helped me see what roles our characters played and how the situation would play out. Barthes and Enigma codes however was the most important because in our trailer we had to find ways to reveal parts of the story but keep the audience in suspense and sub plots unclear so that there would be increased tension and more anticipation of what could happen. For example there were scenes in our trailer that showed this. What I also found out was that British films tend to book end their films, so with our trailer we started with the scene of the demon child, and ended it with the scene of the child, so that it followed the traditional ways of other British films.
We also found out that in trailers Strong language is not permitted in trailers or advertisements at any category below ‘15’ Only one use of strong language is permitted in a trailer or advertisement at ‘15’ and must be neither threatening nor aggressive, this just helped build an idea of how trailers could effect vulnerable children. Our film trailer we decided was going to be an eighteen at the start of the project, and although we didn’t incorporate any gory or bad language into our trailer, we relied on the more piercing sounds, and frightening clips of the trailer to show this.
Media Technologies-Construction and Research For construction and research media technologies were useful in helping me. For research the internet was very successful because it meant I didn’t have limited knowledge when it came to things such as researching the BBFC and making my report about film four. I used the official website for the BBFC so i gained understanding what they were all about, whilst for my film four, I looked up particular film four films, and made points about what was associated in each one with this notion of “Britain”. The internet was also my source when it came to making a mood board for our genre of film we decided to pick, as I was able to get pictures off the internet, and see if other pictures challenged the codes and conventions of a horror film. Also knowing what theory's to use when considering Propp, Todorov and BARTHES was more easier to understand by seeing examples related to each theory, giving me a better idea on how we incorporated these theory’s into our own film. I used the internet when deconstructing film posters, teaser trailers, and film magazines, again having a wide variety of images to look at, so that I could see that each didn’t conform to one set thing, but had lots of other forms and conventions to be looked at as real media products. I used publisher to design the lay out of my poster and magazine, and also using it for composing the real thing. I find publisher is very good way to do this because it’s got a set layout, which makes it easier to lay out things because you can know whether or not something is too big or small by the publisher page. Again when designing our own film magazine, I used the internet to look at other professional magazines to gain more insight into how to make my own live up to expectations such as them. PowerPoint was a main source which I used in order to carry out case studies and make my storyboard, because it was easier to follow by going into the next slide as well as it looking set out in a non messy way, than Microsoft word would have allowed. Microsoft excel was used to plan out the time and dates on when work should be done, and what task should be finished in a later time.
Media Technologies-Planning and EvaluationGarage Band Garage band was an important technology that really helped us see our project through when it came to the production stage of our trailer. Because having worked with the BBC on making a sounds cape it helped us gain understanding on how to make our own sounds, and how we could change these sounds drastically by making a sound echo, or get horribly mutilated so it changed completely in tones of vocals and pace. For example we could make the vocals last longer in a slower way, and change the vocals so that they were deeper or more high pitched. So again it gave more choice when editing our trailer on there. Garage band was helpful because when uploading our filming onto there, we could move the clips about easily, and insert sounds over clip, sound bridges as well as writing. It was useful also in making voice over's and sound scores. The sounds used in garage band made our trailer more effective and more professional, because we used an array of sounds so not just one sound would bore the audience or make our film look dry, but instead it was more exciting and interesting with varied sounds, and underlying sounds that all brought together the film trailer splendidly.
Media Technologies-Planning and EvaluationSurvey Monkey
Survey monkey was a useful website which allowed us to conduct surveys to gain peoples reaction and own opinion of our ideas. We used this thoroughly throughout the project. Firstly we used it when deciding on a name for our project, and lastly used it for what the audience thought of our film magazine, film poster and film trailer. It was very important to get feedback so that we could learn if there were any errors with the project and find ways to improve this, or if so build upon something good already by making it better.
Media Technologies-Planning and EvaluationBlogs/Camera Blogs were used online so that we could see our other classmates own ideas, and benefit from learning what they did, whilst also putting a blog on the internet also gained more popular responses from friends and people who were able to look at our blogs, giving more influence on how people perceived the project. I also used a Polaroid camera in order to film scenes for our trailer. It worked in our favour because the Polaroid camera was balanced on a tripod, which made it easier to film, and less bumpy. Also the camera recorded clearly . I used my own digital camera when it came to researching locations, and when it came to researching ideas for posters and magazines, by experimenting with taking many different photos.
Photoshop was used so that photos taken for the poster and magazine could be brought up to professional standard and become more effective by being changed. For example Photoshop was useful in hiding and changing backgrounds, changing skin tone so the skin would look more pale, because having looked at many horror posters and films, there aren’t usually permanently tanned people that are in horror but rather a pale colour for ghosts and humans. Photoshop also helped change the contrast so that pictures could be seen more clearly, or have more edge and look darker, more aggressive by sharpening contrast. Photoshop also altered how a picture didn’t have to positioned in one way but could be flipped so it faced the opposite way. It also helped change eye colour, change the shade of colour the picture was and other aspects.
Media Technologies-Planning and EvaluationPHOTOSHOP A picture we edited by photoshop
Deconstruction-Film Magazine Deconstruction was a very important process that helped me as a person see how posters, magazines and trailers followed the codes and conventions of horror. I deconstructed Film Magazines to help me plan out my approach to the layout and the intended effect my magazine could have by using this information. I found that most film magazines follow the same method, which is mainly reaching out to the audience, and involving them and making them feel involved just as a film would. This is adopted into the magazines with the characters expression and posture either aggressively challenging the reader, or inviting the reader into their confidence. This was done with our magazine by using a picture of a girl making the “shh” sign with her one finger as if confiding in the reader and talking to them. Also film magazine’s usually have one set individual from a film being promoted on the front cover and not a group of people, and the individual is portrayed with eye contact for the reader, and the shot is usually a close up and medium shot so that it’s more impacting by blowing up on the page like a film would too Involving the reader with body language
Film magazines also have snap shots from other films, so when making our magazine we took photos which could show different genre of films, and used these as little snapshots on our magazine to give it a professional effect that magazines such as TOTAL FILM and EMPIRE use. Credits are usually at the left side of the magazine, with statistics still being an important focus point in magazines as there is always something such as “1001 greatest movie moments”, and again this does this effectively by going over the number such as a thousand, making it seem more by adding that extra digit. Overall I think I have a thorough understanding of how film magazines should be portrayed.
Deconstruction-Film Poster For Film Posters I looked at a variety and saw how they were similar. For Film Posters I learnt that location wise they are usually on the side of buses or on boards around a town. The location helped me realize that people would only get a glimpse of these posters, so therefore to gain their interest in a limited amount of time it was important when considering my own film poster not to make it too complicated to read, and be a direct message to my audience. So when actually making our final poster both of us made sure that wasn’t a lot of text, and the picture was the clear selling point of the magazine, and most important in terms of expressing the poster and giving a message because of it
Deconstruction-Film Poster I found that most posters had a website of their film advertised at the bottom next to credits with their own logo so we took it into our own interest to make our own logo so the poster could establish a more professional element to it. Some film posters had the age certificate at the bottom also. Most of the ones that didn’t have the age certificate where usually American films, where as British films showed this. Another thing common in British films is that there were no main star credits of the actors and actresses in the film, this was only made apparent in American films. So this is another thing we looked at when making our poster. I also found out that the main title was a different font and colour to the sub title, so therefore made sure this was clear when making our poster.
Deconstruction-Film Poster Horror posters were normally dark with colours red and black being main colours. Blood was used for the concept of gore and to identify this as a horror poster, and this is what we used when doing our own poster to make it identified as a horror genre. We also kept to the conventions of horror posters by using dark colour such as black and red. Our horror poster uses similar elements of horror posters with the blood and dark overall colour scheme to things.
Deconstruction-Film Poster Two official posters have title and subtitle distanced
We challenged the codes and conventions of horror poster by putting the sub heading underneath the title, where as other horror posters have the sub title placed far away from the main title. We thought however it worked to have a subtitle under the main title because our main title could be easily identified because of it’s formation and shape, slanted so that it surrounded the sub title in a circular way that also went with the title “Blood circle”, so therefore this was easy to recognize it as the main title. We also like the idea of the main title intimidating the sub title and trapping it in a way, it made the poster look more sinister, and broke away from the normal codes and conventions of other horror posters so that we could show our own way of communicating with an audience with just a way of setting the title and subtitle out differently. We conformed however to following other horror posters when it came to the positioning of our main character, because most horror posters shown the object or character always centred in the middle of the page so we made sure that our picture was focused in the middle of the page. Overall I think I have a understanding on how Film posters should be portrayed.
My Poster breaks these rules
Drafts of Film Magazine Magazine Template Magazine drafts
Final Magazine This was our final magazine, we thought this was suitable because it wasn’t as messy as the others because the text was confusing before, being all over the place, and the colour schemes didn’t work before, and the general layout just looked amateur, however this looked more like a real film magazine. My media product conforms to the conventions of real media products by having a bold masthead at the top of the front cover page, as well as a main headline to identify the main section that is going to be featured in my magazine. The pictures are linked to film, because of the objects such as a torch to indicate a genre of film, as well as other different pictures to show different genres of film..The significance of big numbers to hook my audience is also on my front cover, so that the large number is more attractive to my audience such as “157 films” I used on my front cover. A banner appears at the bottom of my magazine to indicate what movies are also going to be featured in my magazine as well as other articles that are going to be in my magazine. My colour scheme red, black and white is limited to 3 colours which is standard amount of colours that are used in other film magazines. My banner is at the top of the page of films included in the magazine and the credits are on the left side of the magazine so it follows the conventions of other film magazines which do the same.
Poster Ideas Torch Light Distracting and hair cropped Too Comical/Blood looks fake
Poster Drafts Circle looks ridiculous like graffiti/framed Too plain Font not scary
Final Poster Final Poster-Improved with audience feedback The final poster looked more professional because on Photoshop we edited it so that there could be blood on the sides, and specks of blood at the top of the page. Whilst we also changed the font to make it a bit more effective in giving that blood curdling effect, whilst we added a sub title to make it more interesting. The colours red and black helped suggest the horror genre, with the red suggesting blood and going with the word blood appropriately. However although satisfied with our poster we conducted a survey, and key aspects were forced to change due to our audiences opinion on the poster, such as the sub title “death is coming” needed a different font and needed to be smaller, because they felt it was too big and couldn't decide what was the main title. The credits at the bottom had to be made smaller and a website was added for more emphasis this was a real film poster. And the logo’s and age certificate needed to be less ordered in position to each other, and made more clearer. So overall with the use of this important feedback from our audience we were able to improve upon the poster.
Final Poster-Improved with audience feedback Old Poster with errors We also felt that we wanted our poster to show a ghostly more supernatural vibe, so by simply changing part of the background to look more misty at the side we thought we completed this
Effective Combination (Poster, Magazine and Trailer) Non verbal communication was used to good effect in the magazine with the “shh” doing this whilst it was also used to good effect in the poster with the girl being portrayed as lost and in terror holding the torch. Whilst in our trailer the girl used her body language to convey the communication by becoming more slow and unsure of herself as she slid down the door. There was lots of similarities with the colours used. In the poster red was used to indicate gore, and danger, where as the red living room was used in the trailer to show this also. There was darkness used in the poster with the colour black and grey, and throughout the trailer there were parts where it was set in a dark room with no light, so this was used to good effect. The poster also borrowed this darkness idea by appearing mysterious and hiding on the front page with the torch.
Deconstruction-Trailer We also decided to use colours what we used in the poster in order to still make the trailer aware of the codes and conventions of horror movies. When looking at trailers we found some elements that we thought represented the horror genre well. When looking at our own film we found ways to incorporate these elements into our own trailer. . Use of cutting quickly for the sense of disturbance and exhilaration of shock. This was used to good effect as there were many cuts in our teaser trailer, whilst we also had shots fading to black to give the audience and unbalanced feeling whilst feeling dread and confusion. . Colours red and black, contribute to the negative connotations needed to show in our film, as well as the use of shadows. We used these colours in our film, representing the film well, whilst we also had scenes were the contrast of the scene was made sharper darker, or fuzzy so it gave the audience a disorientating feeling. . Non diegetic sounds such as nature and the rustle of bushes, so that it creates more suspense. . Use of heavy breathing and heartbeat so that danger can be represented well in my film. Heavy breathing was used in our trailer to good effect, though when trying out the heartbeat it seemed too clichéd and we wanted to challenge the codes and conventions of horror films by making our trailer unpredictable. . The use of music that doesn’t fit in with the theme, so that is breaks rules for good reason to portray something different. . Use of slow clips to build up tension, but to then shock as a quick cut reveals the highlight of scaring my audience. I used this in our trailer as we start off with everything running at a slow pace, to a gradually decline into chaos. At the end when the title of the film comes up, it makes a disturbing noise to shock the audience and still interest them. Props are used like weapons and masks to make the film more scary. We also used props in our films such as teddy bears and dolls to surround the girl, to add to this sense of false innocent w hen concerning the villain.
Deconstruction-TrailerSound It was important to convey the right sound in our trailer, and the right amount of sounds I found out that overlapping sounds worked well when deconstructing trailers before, but something new I learnt was that small underlying sounds managed to add something more to a trailer. For example in our trailer we added little dripping sounds, and distorted ticking sounds underneath the bigger sounds. These layers built up to enforce questioning of what these sounds could be, whilst the visual trailer also enthralled at the same time. The main sounds were important, voice over's were used so the narrative could be understood, and the London accent could enhance it was a British film, whilst a sound bridge was used quite often of a dark sound to contribute edge and tension to the trailer in parts. A variety of sounds made for an interesting trailer I found and this is why we used different ones in our own trailer. Whilst other diegetic sounds such as screaming and heavy breathing was used to capture the emotion of the characters in the trailer, so that they could communicate with the audience on a personal level.
Audience Feedback-How we improved our trailer Made scenes more darker by adjusting the lighting of the scene Made scenes have sharper contrast Edited vocals of the little girl so that they had an echo and was more eerie Cut scenes that were too long and would lose peoples interest Shorten scenes so that when the cuts happened it was a direct continuous thing Adjusted quality of some scenes to make it look slightly distorted for the sense of disturbance and a unnatural look Changed the colour so that we could show intertextuality of other films which use this in films like “Blair Witch Project” and “Paranormal activity” so that our film could be recognized as possessing these type of qualities which other successful films have.
5 Focus Groups The girl was convincing in making people scared Both sexes said it could be a film for both genders. As girls would watch it because it’s about a group of girls and this would interest them, whilst men would watch it due to the male gaze of women. Older people (25-40) said it relied too much on making the girl make the trailer scary, but was still scared by other parts of the trailer, most said it looked an eighteen. Young adults (18-24) said that the trailer had an overall dark effect, could understand the narrative well, whilst the girl was the creepiest thing in the trailer. They also agreed it was an eighteen. Teenagers (13-17) said that the start was very intense, and although not a lot happened they were hooked because they didn’t know what would come next. They said the fast cutting reminded them of a proper horror movie Elderly people (50-70) said that the girl was scary, and it reminded them of old ghost films with the girl, but with the group of girls said it was more modern and for teenagers these days, but they would have watched it if it was a real film. They too said the age certificate should be an 18. I didn’t ask any other children younger then this age as I thought it would be appropriate and leave them vulnerable to nightmares, so this is where my feedback had to stop. OVERALL: I think we achieved in making a professional British horror film that would scare people.